Kansas City Royals infielder Miguel Tejada has received a 105-game suspension after twice testing positive for Adderall, a penalty that could end the career of the 39-year-old former American League MVP.
Because Tejada had previously tested positive under the league’s amphetamine policy, he was subject to a 25-game ban for a second positive, which was found in a test this season. A third positive, in close proximity to the second, called for an additional 80-game suspension, totaling a concurrent 105.
It will be the third-longest non-lifetime suspension ever levied by MLB, behind Alex Rodriguez’s pending 211-game ban and Steve Howe’s 119-day sanction in 1992.
Widespread amphetamine use throughout baseball led to a crackdown in 2006, though the drugs remain prevalent in clubhouses through therapeutic-use exemptions granted by MLB’s medical staff. Last season, the league gave 116 TUEs for players diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, allowing them to use drugs prescribed to treat ADD without repercussions.
Tejada did not appeal the penalties and will begin serving them immediately from the 60-day disabled list, where the Royals placed him this week with a strained calf. After serving the remaining 41 games in Kansas City’s season, Tejada would be ineligible to play in the first 64 games of 2014, though one source close to Tejada indicated he is strongly leaning toward retiring.
It would end an up-and-down career that peaked with the 2002 AL MVP and saw its nadir when he pleaded guilty to lying to Congress in 2005 about his knowledge of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. Though Tejada never was suspended for PED use, he later admitted to buying more than $6,000 worth of human growth hormone, which he claimed to have thrown away before injecting.
By then, he had parlayed his success in Oakland into a $72 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles, who after four years traded him to Houston. In 2008, his first season with the Astros, Tejada admitted he had falsified his age before signing with Oakland by two years, and he was actually 34, not 32.
After bouncing around among four teams from 2009-11 and spending 2012 in Triple-A, Tejada looked better than he had in years playing for Aguilas of the Dominican Winter League. After starting at third base for the World Baseball Classic-winning Dominican team, Tejada made the Royals as a utilityman and resurrected his career as the team’s everyday second baseman before the injury sidelined him.
The only other player to receive an 80-game suspension for amphetamines was utilityman Neifi Perez, who, like Tejada, tested positive twice within a month during the 2007 season.Were Tejada to continue playing and test positive a fourth time, he would receive a lifetime ban.
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